This week started with an overnight trip to the famous Blue Mountains! Picked up from the hostel by a friendly tour guide and headed straight off nice and early. It’s only a short hour and a half drive, so it’s a good day trip if you’re spending some time in Sydney.
As we arrived the heavens opened. Now, normally I’d be put off by the rain (we get enough of it in England after all) but it gave everything such an incredible ambiance. The only way I can describe it was that it was like being in Jurassic Park. A thick eerie fog meant you were looking over the edge into a nothingness: a silence took over with only the pitter patter of rain to be heard and the occasional pterodactyl squawk piercing the forest. All right, not that one… but it really was like no place I’d ever been to.
After avoiding the ‘pterodactyls’, I was swiftly dropped off at the YHA Hostel in Katoomba where I dropped my bags and headed out on the hunt for some delicious food. I soon came across this place called the ‘Yellow Deli’: a community-run restaurant with a really unique layout.
I had this fantastic tofu bagel burger and a couple of long chats with the fascinating people working there. Travel is all about the people and these guys made it a really welcoming personal experience.
— Backpacker (@BackpackerBySTA) October 23, 2015
After being dropped off at the Circular Quay in Sydney, I headed to the famous Bondi Beach, before getting my head down ready for an early start the next morning for my first ever paddle boarding experience! Marty from ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ picked me up and I was straight into a wetsuit and given a SUP (stand up paddle board), guide and safety talk.
The water was quite a brisk temperature and at first my balance wasn’t very impressive, but I started paddling up and down the beach following Marty’s instructions. Although I did end up in the water a few times it really was fantastic and just so peaceful out there.
The next day it was surf time, beginning with an in-depth lesson (on the sand) of how to stand up and catch one of what looked to be HUGE waves! I have to say I think I was better at surfing than paddle boarding and within the hour (and with Shaun’s help) I was standing up catching those same waves. I was actually surfing! It was a mad feeling to be carried by this huge force of nature: something I will never forget. Thank you Shaun for teaching me how to surf like a duuuuude!
What a weekend of Bondi madness! Now, onto the next adventure…